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Stephen Mayo | The Change Inside the Change

The Change Inside the Change

June 12, 2022

Yesterday my wife and I installed a set of curtain rods.

I’d been putting this off for weeks.  Part of me didn’t want to spend the time on it.  But mostly, I was dreading the experience of feeling incompetent and frustrated.

How do I do this?  What size drill bit do I need? Wait, the drill can turn the bit in 2 directions? Which one is right?  How come these holes don’t line up? What if I put a hole in the wrong place and need to fix it?  This is dumb. I can’t do this. 

And then we worked on it. And some things went smoothly, and some things didn’t, and gradually we learned how to use the drill to make the right holes, and how to do the measuring. And eventually, one curtain rod was up on the wall, with curtains.

2 things changed during this hour.  Let’s call one change “small c” and the other change “big C”.

Small c – the curtain rod is up! Wonderful.

Big C – my self-image changed.  Instead of seeing myself as “I’m not very handy, I’m not good at that stuff” suddenly my perspective became “I can learn how to do handy things”.  And that’s a big difference.  

Installing the curtain rod will change the way the room looks.  But updating my self image will expand what I’m capable of.   Not just in home projects, but every time I tackle something challenging.

What’s a shift that would be meaningful to you?

  1. Going from “I’m not good at dealing with conflict” to “I’m learning to be more assertive”
  2. From “I’m never on time” to “I can be on time, and I’m learning what gets in the way”
  3. From “I might be wrong” to “I’m going to say it anyway
  4. From “I hate working out” to “I’m finding ways to make physical activity more fun”
  5. From “I need to make it perfect” to “I have the authority to decide when it's done"


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